Late Wednesday, officials with the Fairbanks District Attorneys Office issued their response to the plea deal offered in the Jacques Lisbey Murder case.
Lisbey had been charged with First Degree Murder in the August, 2011 shooting death of 20 year old Malik Moore.
After three days of trial proceedings, early Wednesday, Lisbey pleaded guilty to a single count of Second Degree Murder in exchange for having all other charges dismissed.
As part of that agreement, Lisbey will serve 10 years in jail, with sentencing set for July.
The decision was met with outrage by Moore's mother, Terrinita Smith, who told Lisbey (he would) "burn in Hell."
The following is a prepared statement, released to News Center 11, from State Attorneys who prosecuted the case:
"Every case is analyzed from many perspectives.
One perspective is the severity of the crime, and this was a 1st degree murder case -- as severe as they come.
Another perspective that we (Prosecutors) have to look at, however, is the strength of the state's case against the defendant, and whether 12 people ultimately will unanimously conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.
In this case, there was no confession by the defendant, the murder weapon was not recovered, and there were no eyewitnesses.
Given those facts, at the outset the uncertainty of the outcome was greater than in most murder cases.
"Faded" memories, and/or changing statements from witnesses were also a concern, and that concern became a reality as the trial unfolded and some witnesses recanted their prior statements.
All of these factors increased the risk that the jurors might not reach a unanimous guilty verdict at the end of the trial process.
From our perspective, obtaining the sure conviction with a sentence of twenty (20) years with ten (10) of those years suspended is a significantly better outcome than a possible hung jury or the risk of the defendant being acquitted of the murder altogether.
We are convinced that Mr. Lisbey is responsible for the death of Malik Moore, and his guilty plea to this crime will hold him accountable for that murder.
However, the State has to consider not only justice for this victim, but also protection for society in the future.
Having this defendant in jail without the possibility of discretionary parole until he has completed his sentence, and on supervised probation for 10 years after his release, are protections for society that hopefully will help ensure that Mr. Lisbey does not harm anyone in the future.
While no one is happy with this outcome, our hearts certainly go out to the grieving family.
We well understand that their son's life is worth far more than 10 years in prison for the man responsible for his death.
However, when looking at the facts of the case as they were coming out at trial, and taking into consideration our responsibility to protect the public from Mr. Lisbey in the future, obtaining a sure conviction for Second Degree Murder was the best outcome available to us as the trial unfolded."